Karen Gillan

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is good, freaky fun

Of course, Guardians isn’t perfect, as it struggles to find a consistent tone. Sometimes it wants to be more adult, with bawdier language and sexual innuendo. For instance, Quill’s rumination that “If I had a black light, this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting!” is pretty sophisticated for mainstream PG-13 fare. Other times, it feels as though the filmmakers are pandering to a much younger audience. You can almost visualize a ‘Dancing Groot’ doll gyrating in your kid’s Happy Meal.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is solid entertainment, despite some wonky action and character work

For every good sequence, there’s one that’s muddled with bad camerawork and editing. Like a lot of blockbuster action, it’s barely legible; you have to work to keep up with it, and that work interferes with the enjoyment. The story also sags in the middle, as it seems to exist mainly to fill out the run-time. The protagonists take the MacGuffin to a dude they wish to sell it to, but the only real function of the section is to exposit what it is. It turns a big chunk of the plot into a shrug.

New trailer for Marvel and James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

A galaxy’s apparently at threat, but despite all the aerial combat and general punching of people, the trailer for Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy is positively jovial in spirit (in the sky). James Gunn (Super, Slither) directs this adaptation of a comparatively lesser-known superhero property, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Peter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. To this writer’s mind, the (good) feeling that this looks like a weirder version of Firefly is strengthened by this first full trailer, which you can view below. Big damn heroes, etc.

oculus

‘Oculus’ revitalizes supernatural horror with an essential dose of heart and smarts

Thanks to the likes of James Wan, paranormal horror is all the rage. From Paranormal Activity to Insidious and The Conjuring, audiences are irretrievably hooked to tales of nuclear families being bloodlessly menaced by only-fleetingly-visible entities of malicious intent. What’s remarkable about Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, which follows his no-budget wonder Absentia, is how it manages to wring genuine dread from a beyond-worn subgenre simply by paying close attention to the realities of its deeply troubled characters. Oculus functions equally well as a tragic psychodrama as it does a horror film.

Karen Gillan as Doctor Who Companion Amy Pond

Doctor Who Companion Profile: Amy Pond

Amelia Pond is a child when the TARDIS crash lands in her back yard. When the Doctor attempts to hop the TARDIS forward 5 minutes and overshoots by twelve years, Amy grows up with the Doctor as her childhood imaginary friend. She has somewhat of a difficult childhood, acting out and insisting that the Doctor is real to the point where she’s put into therapy. Amy is incredibly close with her best friend Mels and becomes good friends with Rory as well, and the two eventually start dating. Amy is working as a kissogram and still living in the same house when she next encounters the Doctor as a late teenager.

TIFF 2013: ‘Oculus’ is one of the best American horror films of the past decade

It is rarer than unicorn octuplets these days to encounter a genuinely creepy, refreshingly inventive horror film given the genre’s remorseless penchant for unleashing increasingly formulaic sequels or cannibalistic remakes of past atrocities, so the inclusion of Oculus in the Midnight Madness strand of the Toronto Film Festival seems destined to delight fans of things that go bump in the night. This is a terrifically creepy and genuinely innovative addition to the inventory.

TIFF 2013: ‘Oculus’ revitalizes supernatural horror with an essential dose of heart and smarts

Thanks to the likes of James Wan, paranormal horror is all the rage. From Paranormal Activity to Insidious and The Conjuring, audiences are irretrievably hooked to tales of nuclear families being bloodlessly menaced by only-fleetingly-visible entities of malicious intent. What’s remarkable about Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, which follows his no-budget wonder Absentia, is how it manages to wring genuine dread from a beyond-worn subgenre simply by paying close attention to the realities of its deeply troubled characters. Oculus functions equally well as a tragic psychodrama as it does a horror film.

Not Another Happy Ending

EIFF 2013: Glasgow rom-com ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ is vibrant but insubstantial

Set in a spruced-up Glasgow, Not Another Happy Ending is an offbeat romantic comedy starring Karen Gillan as Jane, a quirky young novelist struggling to overcome a nasty bout of writer’s block. With the editorial guidance of her passionate but single-minded publisher, Tom (Stanley Weber), her debut autobiographical novel became a huge bestseller, as well as reuniting her with her estranged father (Gary Lewis) and landing her a relationship with a renowned but narcissistic screenwriter, Willie (Henry Ian Cusick). Relying on Jane’s new book to rescue his ailing publishing company, Tom believes that her newfound happiness is preventing her from writing and sets out to make her life as miserable as he can.

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